Release Date: 2016
Director: Julia Ducournau
Writer: Julia Ducournau
Actor(s): Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella
Plot: Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet and a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts a veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family principles when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge.
This is a brilliant film. I didn’t enjoy it one bit, but even so, it was still a good film. Why do you ask? Even though I did not enjoy it, I still ended up talking about it afterward.
If any film can bring out any form of strong emotion from me, then I consider it to be a brilliant film, even if I hated it. I found myself looking away from the screen with some of the scenes, particularly the scene in the mortuary. I felt for Justine throughout the film. She’s trying to figure out her place in the world to only find out she’s a cannibal. She’s also in her sexual awakening too, which isn’t tactfully, but what do you expect from a coming-of-age horror film? If I had to compare it with any coming-of-age horror film, it would be Ginger Snaps, but even that was slightly more tasteful than this.
David Fear form the Rolling Stones described it as a ‘modern horror masterpiece.’ For a debut film, this is pretty impressive. Julia Ducournau wrote and directed the film which explores female empowerment in a strange, bloody way. It might not seem like it, but this is a Girl Power film. Our main protagonist (who was repressed for years by her strict vegetarian lifestyle) soon becomes who she wants to be once she realizes who she is, and she goes after it too, without feeling the slightest twinge of guilt.
Garance Marillier gives a solid performance as our protagonist, expressing many personality shifts throughout the whole film while Ella Rumpf is superb as the older sister, who attempts to help her little sister through the initiation ceremony. Even though the shock tactics can be, well, slightly overwhelming for some the film never loses sight of character and the relationship between Justine and her older, wilder sister feels authentic.
The cinematography is hypnotic and beautiful. The scene that sticks in my mind in the whole film is in the last party Justine attends (the party at the mortuary). The pace is slow, and the camera is fixed on her the entire time. It’s a beautiful, stunning shot whilst also terrifying at the same time. It was captivating to watch. She was captivating to watch. The soundtrack was phenomenal. Each song was chosen perfectly for each scene.
Raw is a brilliant debut film and I’m glad I watched it. Artistic, disgusting, terrifying and captivating. Would I watch it again? Not a chance in hell. I honestly didn’t enjoy it, but it is a very, very good film!